Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Who says there are no such things as miracles?

This week was very wonderful. So much has happened. First off, I was so sad to hear Elder L. Tom Perry passed away. It was bad news but I am comforted to know that the Plan of Salvation is real and families can be together forever.

Wednesday we had exchanges and I was able to stay in my own area and be with Sister Hailes.   Sister Hailes and I went and saw K, our agnostic investigator. Every time we would invite him to pray, he would just kind of shrug it off. Same with church invitations, testimonies, and so forth. Something was different this time though. I asked if he had prayed, and sadly enough, I expected him to say no. But then I realized I need to have more faith in him, because he said yes! He prayed! He said he really want to believe in God and is working toward that.  He said he almost came to church as well but didn't.  He is progressing slowly but is definitely progressing. 

After that we went tracting and I had the prompting to call a former investigator who we had recently met, named V. He didn't answer so we just went to his house where he and his friend P live. It was raining as we were walking up and then P came out before we could knock on the door. We talked to him for a second and then V came out and we visited with both of them. We set up a time to give them a tour of the church so P could see what it was like. V really wants P to be receptive to learning about the gospel because he really wants the lessons again but having his friend take them too would give him so support. We were getting ready to leave and something told me we should sing to them.  But it was raining hard and it would just be so awkward to stand there trying to shield ourselves from the rain and sing a hymn.  But the feeling said "Just sing a hymn to them. It will work out."  So I decided rain or no rain we need to sing them a song so we are going to do it.  So we sang "Brightly Beams our Father's Mercy."  From the moment we sang the first note, the rain stopped completely.  Then right when we said the word "gleam" in the middle of the song a bright flash of lightning lit up the sky.  It was very cool!  Then the second we stopped singing, the downpour started all over again and we got soaked running to the car. It poured so hard that we were soaked within seconds.  That was just an amazing experience and a small miracle in my opinion.

Next we went to visit an guy in his mid 20's who is less active. We have been working with him for two months, ever since we got transferred to the area.  I firmly believe that we are called to serve in the missions we are called to because there are certain people we need to teach.  From the moment I met this guy I knew that he was the reason I was transferred to Dickinson and one of the main reasons (along with M in Bemidji) I was called to this mission.  I have cared for him deeply from the moment I met him- almost like I knew him before.  He has been a little closed off because there is something he's been struggling with that he just couldn't bring himself to share.  But then at this lesson, he finally felt like he could talk to us. Part of the reason he doesn't come to church is because of a pornography addiction that he can't seem to overcome and has been very ashamed of.  He really wants to go to the temple, and he knows it's true without a doubt, but he is constantly feeling guilty for his addiction. He doesn't want to go to the temple and make covenants with God when he feels like he is just going to keep messing up and never get better. He lost all faith in himself and has almost given up trying. The room was so silent after he said all these things. He was the saddest I had ever seen him and have never wanted to cry in a lesson like I did that day. I felt so bad. Since then I have been studying the atonement, repentance, and addiction recovery non-stop. I really hope to help him. I feel like it is what I am here to do at this time. It was a miracle that he opened up and told us because now we can finally help him progress.  I have a connection to him I can't explain.  I think he was one of my best friends in the pre-existence.

On Monday we received the approval for W's baptism, so we had planned to do it that coming Saturday. We tried to call W many times, and his phone was off and we couldn't get a hold of him. He had barely moved and we didn't have his new address so we couldn't stop by to tell him. It was all a big waiting game. Finally on Wednesday, on our way back to Bismarck to exchange back, we got a call from the other sisters in Dickinson. They were there at the church with W! Turned out, he lost his phone and went to the church on Wednesday hoping we would be there so he could talk with us and see if he got the approval. We got it all figured out and had a wonderful baptism for him on Saturday. 
W's baptism.  It was a great day!
Finally, one of the biggest miracles of the week: A member that went out with on Friday directed us to visit a less active family in the ward.  They don't really want anyone to come by but the member we were felt strongly that it was time for missionaries to try again.  This less active family has a nine year old son who has not yet been baptized, so he needs to take the missionary lessons. We went to go meet this family and they mentioned they were originally from Arizona, so I asked what part they were from.  Then they told me they are from Eagar! Turns out, I know their other kids because they are in the Amity ward too.  The husband was married to a woman in Amity ward.  They divorced and she stayed in Eagar and her ex-husband moved to North Dakota and has another family now.  That small connection we had helped them to open up and allow us to come get to know their family.  The best part is that they want us to start teaching the lessons to their nine year old son. I am so excited to teach people that I feel a close connection with, being from the same small town!  This family is another reason I came to Dickinson. It is such a small world.

Ashley, congratulations on Samoa!  That is the perfect place for you.  I have such a testimony that mission calls are given by apostles under the direction of our Heavenly Father and his angels.  I have no doubt of that.  I have seen the truth of it each and every week on my mission. Moroni 7:29:  "And because he hath done this, my beloved brethren, have miracles ceased? Behold I say unto you, Nay; neither have angels ceased to minister unto the children of men."

Mom, remember when I really thought I would serve in Texas?  Well M from Bemidji moved to Minnesota from Texas a couple of months after I was called to this mission.  And then remember when I had a dream that I was teaching someone in Las Vegas?  Well the less active we are helping with an addiction moved to North Dakota from Las Vegas.  And then I thought I would teach Great-Grandma Wellman's ancestors and I have worked with many Native Americans.  Then remember I thought I would go to Mexico because I love Mexicans and always dreamed I was teaching them on my mission?  Well, here in Dickinson I have found the jackpot of Mexicans and I love teaching them! 

Shout-out to the Humphrey family in Bemidji!  Beth's husband Ryan was baptized last Saturday.  I love that family so much and I couldn't be happier for them.

I hope you all have a wonderful week and feel at peace- angels are ministering unto you, guiding you, and intervening in your lives every day.  I am sure of that. Love you! :)

Sister Park

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